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Resources for accountants

Resources for accountants

I would be very inteersted to hear what resources other accountants use both on line and in published format, and what they consider to be invaluable.  I am thrilled to say I have filed my last return (apart for the two where the clients haven't sent in their records yet), so, unusually have some time on my hands to look at these things.

I am familiar with Nicola Ross-Martin's website - is a subscription worthwhile?

What do users think of the Tax Club?

Are there any similar providers worth mentioning?

What books can you not do without?

Where do you get your tax planning ideas form?  Course?  Books?  Websites?

Are any of the Indicator series books good, or do they only set out what we already know anyway?  (ie more targetted at the non-professional)?


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28th Jan 2011 13:55

CPD & Tolleys

I do quaterly tax updates with PTP which are the most valuable ... knowledge retention is difficult in this game and regular drip feeding works for me. I also do a variety of annual events e.g. budgets, finance acts etc either with PTP of via the AAT.

For reference material I subscribe to the full Tolleys on-line package which is very expensive but entirely comprehensive.

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By Monsoon
28th Jan 2011 14:42

Tax Club

I'm a member and haven't really used it to its full potential, but you get all the monthly tax updates (that you get with the PTP quarterly tax update seminars) included which for me is quids in - £100 for tax club vs £250 for PTP seminars and as a 'basic' sole practitioner lots of things in the seminars aren't relevant to me, so it's much better for me to download the pdfs and read them as opposed to going to the seminars.

I'll be looking into what else my membership offers once I've got these darn tax returns finished!

I've been thinking about subscribing to Nichola Ross Martin's site, would be interested to hear other users' views on it . It's another things I'm going to look at next month.

Books wise I always buy Tolleys Tax Guide.



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29th Jan 2011 15:06

CCH online

Hi - I've used CCH online for everything (tax, audit, accounting etc) for years and wouldn't be without it, their phone helplines are also excellent when my eyes glaze over.  I've heard good things about Tolleys online but they don't cover the range of services I need.

Tax planning tends to be from CPD and keeping eyes & ears open on here and other online resources.

For environmental and convenience reasons I hardly use books/paper/plastic at all but CCH's "Kestrian Small Practitioner" is a great little monthly summary of all tax & accounts news and for easy to read and comprehensive planning the Tax Cafe publications are great.

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29th Jan 2011 15:51

It is free for AAT MIPs

I am new to practice, and it is quite timely for me that CCH online is free for AAt MIPs. I dont know whether others have to pay for access, but it readily available for aats

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30th Jan 2011 18:52

Thanks - keep them coming!

Thanks for the replies so far - I had never heard of the Tax Cafe, so that was very interesting.  I like to buy a range of different tax books over the years.  I have bought Tottels a couple of times, Tolley's Tax Guide and Melville's "Taxation" in the past.  I also use the HMRC manuals, plus of course Aweb.  I have also joined the Tax Club but was very disappointed that the Apps they talk about in the blurb cost extra - not quite what I had understood when I was joining up.  I know there is no such thing as a free lunch, but this could have been made clearer.

I like Lawpack's products for CoSec info, and Surebeck for checklists.

Any other little gems anyone could share?

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31st Jan 2011 10:07

Simply Docs

From time to time clients ask if I have a "standard" document for various obscure or not so obscure purposes, eg shareholders agreements, partnership agreements, consultancy agreements etc etc and Simply Docs has never let me down

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31st Jan 2011 10:13

Found this helpful

Though I have not used it to its fullest extent.

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02nd Feb 2011 11:20

Looking for iXBRL information and product reviews


I'm an avid reader of AccountingWeb, espcially John Stokdyk but I'd like to know what other resources you know of around iXBRL and the April mandate. What sites do you read, are there any books you'd recommend and what software have you chosen?



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By kcrawf
02nd Feb 2011 11:57

What resources?


I use FL Memo books VAT, Tax, Accounting which are cheaper than Tolleys and find them very good.

I attend CCH seminars and get my tax planning ideas there.

I used to subcribe to Indicator but never got round to reading them all and so cancelled. Also you are inundated with stuff from them. I have, however, made use of their Essential Documents for Business and Essential Documents for saving tax as they have letter, claim, lease templates which are sometimes quicker than maling up your own.


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By ianlea
02nd Feb 2011 12:27

FL Memo

I use FL Memo for tax and VAT - these are also updated regularly online (included in the price).

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02nd Feb 2011 15:16


 I also use FL MEMO Tax, VAT, Accountancy &Financial Reporting. They are great and they come quite cheap comparatively. Another great thing about FL MEMO is that they send you free online updates on a regular basis which is included in the initial price you paid. They are easy to read and understand, very practical and easy search out information in a limited time. 

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02nd Feb 2011 15:16


 I also use FL MEMO Tax, VAT, Accountancy &Financial Reporting. They are great and they come quite cheap comparatively. Another great thing about FL MEMO is that they send you free online updates on a regular basis which is included in the initial price you paid. They are easy to read and understand, very practical and easy search out information in a limited time. Highly recommended!

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By cfield
02nd Feb 2011 15:27

Tax Cafe is great!

I've read quite a few of their books and have always found them informative and very well-written. My favourite bit of advice was an item headed "Grab a Granny" (a phrase I hadn't heard since my disco hopping days) where the author tongue in cheek suggested that you could marry an old lady in a nursing home just to get her transferrable nil rate band. He didn't say whether it would be necessary to consummate the marriage though!

I must declare an interest in Tax Cafe as I wrote an article for them a few months ago and am in the process of writing a book for them. Watch this space for title and publishing date!


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02nd Feb 2011 15:40

Thanks for your kind words, Cantankerous

And to all of the other members who have posted on this thread.

While you're talking about resources, I hope nobody has forgotten about all of the reference content and advice available on AccountingWEB - most of it free, but some resources are also now available via the [email protected].

For tax related topics, try searching some of the "tag" pages we've built up around different subjects, including:

Directors Loan AccountsIR35Furnished Holiday Lettings rulesVAT rate changeEntrepreneurs ReliefCapital Gains Tax

@Alex - we've also got a similar page devoted to iXBRL, which can point you at more of the stuff we've got. Here are some of the key references I tend to go back to:

HMRC's list of recognised suppliersCompany accounts HM Revenue & Customs require with a Company Tax Return (32kb PDF)IT Zone guide to iXBRL-compatible CT/accounts production softwareCCH iXBRL websiteDigita iXBRL website and whitepaperIRIS iXBRL whitepaperKeytime iXBRL guide - everything the practitioner needs to knowSage iXBRL website and AccountingWEB article Preparing for iXBRLXBRL International - UK reference site

Strangely I've been planning to start up an XBRL/iXBRL interest group on for sometime and was going to do so this afternoon in the light of the professional bodies' appeal for a delay to the 1 Aprill deadline. Having had a peek at, I see that you have beaten me to it.

I'm going to start a separate Any Answers thread to gauge interest in a group on our site (which I imaging would be a bit more focused on practitioners' and preparers concerns), so please join me there to debate this at more lenght. Whether or not I go ahead will depend on the wishes of other AccountingWEB members, but whichever way it goes, I hope that our two sites can collaborate effectively.

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02nd Feb 2011 16:59

I had never heard of Tax Cafe before

As I said above, I have never heard of them.  Now I am several £££ poorer thanks to your recommendations!  Let's hope it's worth it. :)


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02nd Feb 2011 20:29

I hate to say it, but ... Google

Our main reference library is the CCH online, tax audit, the lot. Nonetheless, I have to confess that for most quick queries I just use Google! It's a much quicker way to find stuff in Revenue manuals and on HMRC website. It also finds audit and accounting standards, and for some reason it sometimes even gives you hits in the members section of the ICAEW website which seem to by-pass the member login (if you're not a member!).

SWAT and Mercia produce a lot of news and update material that you can access free on their websites.

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12th Aug 2011 09:42

CCH Online
taxhound - I use CCH Online.

Alex - I have just finished using DataTracks ( for my accounts to by tagged in the iXBRL formmat and have used Alpha Tag for my tax comps to be tagged to the iXBRL format.

My biggest concern was using different providers for tax comps and accounts, but all is fine now. 


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